BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between retinal vessel morphology (branching coefficient, bifurcation angle, and fractal analysis) and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness in an elderly population.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred and one participants from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 (population of people all born in 1936) were studied. RNFL thickness measurements (using optical coherence tomography [OCT]) and digital retinal photographs were collected. The retinal images were analyzed using custom-designed software called the Vascular Assessment and Measurement Platform for Images of the Retina.
RESULTS: Greater deviation from the optimal arteriolar branching coefficient was associated with greater RNFL thickness (r = 0.249, P = .028). There was no significant association between RNFL thickness and the other retinal vessel morphology parameters.
CONCLUSION: RNFL thickness increased significantly with suboptimality of arteriole branching coefficient. These findings cannot be explained by our current understanding of OCT. OCT-based biomarker metrics require further study to better define retinal neurovascular imaging and anatomy.
- Cohort Studies
- Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
- Nerve Fibers
- Retinal Vessels
- Tomography, Optical Coherence